Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dine Out at The Oakwood Canadian Bistro


Our first dine out this year led us to the Oakwood in Kitsilano.  I've always been intrigued by their rustic, yet contemporary spin on Canadian comfort food using local ingredients. So, I was happy we made this place one of our destinations.

Appetizers

Pork ravioli was the most visually appealing dish.  Wasabi butter was a beautiful emerald green while pork rinds and radish sprout gave a decorative arrangement to the plate.  The texture of the ravioli was quite thick, reminding me of asian dumplings.  The pork was shredded, much similar to pulled pork texture.  The wasabi butter, I found, didn't quite help amplify the flavour and I wish they used a sauce that was thicker and richer to help enhance the flavours of the ravioli.  
 
Confit albacore tuna, white bean puree was served in a jar and on a wooden block for an extra rustic feel.  Altogether, the combination made a very smooth spread on the crisp garlic crostinis.  The taste was slightly acidic, but refreshing enough that you don't get sick of eating it after a few bites.
Smoked cheddar cauliflower soup was a great comforting dish on a cold night.  It was creamy with a slight sharpness. The tang from tomato foam just lightly diffused a little bit of acidity into the soup and brightened things up.   Happily floating thyme croutons added crisp texture.  
 

Mains 

Fish seldom blow me away, but their maple smoked sablefish was really a winner.  It was fried to crisp on the edges, while the meat remained flakey and buttery texture with a sweet hint of maple.  Cod brandade croquettes were pretty dense and I wish they had a lighter sauce than the puree to dunk it in.   I've never had these cute looking patty pans before.  They had a neat flavour and texture, like hot peppers without the heat.  
 
The second main to arrive was wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil and baked provolone gratine  served in a skillet.  Okay, it was really cheesy, and since I love cheese so much, there was no such thing as too much cheese.  Or....was there?  It was really filling and I found myself sitting on the sideline digesting after eating more than half of it.  There was a faint hint of truffle oil, and the risotto was really "saucy".  
B ordered sous vide lamp shank to go with her red wine. The meat was fall-of-the-bone tender and juicy from soaking up the tomato nage.  The garlic mash did a great job soaking up all the flavourful broth also.

Desserts

There were 2 types of Canadian favourite desserts to choose from; 'Nanaimo bar' custard and apple crumble.  Both were served in jars.  I think jars are great as containers and presentation, but switching things up wouldn't hurt anybody.

Warm apple crumble was  home-style, like how we used to make in Home Economics class.  The vanilla bavarian sitting on top was rich and creamy.  The crumble was crispy and buttery, while the caramelized apples had both tartness and sweetness with a hint of cinnamon.  
Initially, I found the Nanaimo bar custard to be a bit too sweet.  But my palette may have adapted because I couldn't get enough of the vanilla custard after.  It was really filling, though.  The ganache had large coconut chunks which gives you more texture to chew from aside from being just smooth and creamy.  

Overall, their $28 3-course menu is a great deal with fair size portion for everything.  For $10 $15 more you can also upgrade to a ribeye steak.  If you are looking to try out the Oakwood for dine out, it is worth a try.  I would recommend the tuna as appetizer, lamb shank as main, and apple crumble for dessert.  


The Oakwood Canadian Bistro on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. They actually bumped their ribeye to an extra $15 now.

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